PAK vs ENG, second test: The Ben Stokes-led England cricket team will take on Pakistan in Multan and will surely be looking to seal the series. This is England’s first overseas assignment under head coach Brendon McCullum and skipper Ben Stokes and they have fared pretty decently. Courtesy of their famous win in Rawalpindi last week, England is 1-0 up in the series. Pakistan, on the other hand, plagued by Haris Rauf’s injury, has taken the field and is struggling to keep themselves and the series alive.
Following their trend, as executed in the first Test match, Ben Stokes won the toss and elected to bat first. They were extremely dominant with the bat in the first match, but in Multan, things changed drastically for them. England is in all sorts of trouble and the ‘go for the kill’ approach is not working for them at all. Pakistan has signed debutant Abrar Ahmed and boy, hasn’t he been fantastic. In his first match for Pakistan, Abrar has claimed the prized scalps of Zak Crawley, Ben Duckett, Ollie Pope, Joe Root, and Harry Brook. England was rampant in the first Test courtesy of Crawley, Duckett, Pope, and Brook’s Century, but in the second match, Abrar contained them and caught England off guard.
Cricket came very naturally to Abrar; his father, Noor Ahmed, was a big fan of the Pakistan team, and another older brother, Shahzad Khan, a fast bowler, represented National Bank on the domestic circuit.
“I still remember it was the Multan Test, where Virender Sehwag smashed the three hundred and attacked Saqlain Mushtaq to the maximum. Abrar was about six years old and used to point out the mistakes in Saqlain bhai’s bowling. My father got so annoyed by the continuous comments that he locked him in another room,” laughs Sajid.
With his five-wicket haul on his Test debut, Abrar has now become the 13th Pakistan bowler to achieve this feat. Multan is hosting a Test match after a gap of 16 years and Abrar has made it an occasion to remember. Amidst all the criticism that the Rawalpindi pitch faced, Pakistan captain Babar Azam gave a brief summary on the Multan turf. Babar said he expected the ball to turn and it did. As of now, Abrar has taken 5 wickets, and considering how the pitch is in Multan, we may have more spin magic.